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AkashaCanada

Wallpaper Reaction? Sleeping Hands & Swollen

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I'm hoping someone can help please! We went Gluten-free Casein-free 1.5 months ago for our kids, not realizing we should have been tested (docs wanted to medicate for ADHD related symptoms, dismissed my dietary concerns and the host of other symptoms that were all GI related).

Anyway, I've had issues with my hands falling asleep at night which wakes me regularly (this started before the diet). Yesterday I spent the day removing wallpaper from a room in our home using water and peeling it off with my hands, primarily my right hand. Last night my hand was very cold to the point where I needed to hold it against my body to warm up and it took a long time to get it to room temperature. This followed by the worst night of hands being asleep and the right hand was by far the worst. This morning my right hand is swollen and I have a slight loss of mobility (as if my hands were cold and not working right). Has anyone else experience this with wallpaper removal? I am looking for a local naturopath but in the meantime, this is scary for me. Having been flagged with a very low white blood cell count a few years ago by a walk in doctor who said it was nothing to worry about, I'm now thinking it could be auto-immune related in conjuction with all of my other symptoms. I'd love some feedback if you've experienced this please!

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Sorry you are having such discomfort.

I have read that gluten was once used in drywall and wallpaper pastes, but I am not sure if this is still a common practice or not and I am not sure it explains your onset of worsening symptoms.

Your hands being swollen, cold and numb could be from any number of issues. Have your vitamin and mineral levels been tested? Thyroid?

If it persists, you may wish to seek emergency medical care. (no offense to the Naturopath)

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I had those symptoms for years, especially after I developed Rheumatic Fever. It's called paresthesia. However, since it largely resolved after going gluten free, it may be that you're suffering from inflammation caused by gluten in your diet. I do recall, though, that whenever I was handling construction materials (especially lacquers and bonding substances), I would wake up during the night with my hands in terrible pain and numbness. What worked to alleviate the problem for me was to take bovine collagen (Calorad) along with prescription-strength Motrin (800 mg). Bovine collagen works to reduce the inflammation in connective tissues--in my case, my wrists--as does the Motrin.

Paresthesia can be caused by many things, but one of the things that can cause it is mineral deficiencies, which can be present in people with absorption problems (e.g., celiacs). I looked up which mineral deficiencies can cause paresthesia and came up with calcium and phosphorus. You might check to see if you're low in these minerals. Also, toxic levels of pyridoxine can also cause paresthesia, though this would be a rare occurrence...and I only mention it in case there's any possibility in your particular case.

Also, you may wish to look up information on Reynaud's Syndrome, since people with celiac can also develop it...and it involves cold, numb extremities.

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Thank you so much for your replies! The wallpaper is circa 1980. I did get a few gouges under my nails from the paper and of course there were tiny open wounds so if there was gluten, it had a fast track to my bloodstream.

I forgot to mention that shortly after I finished the work, I felt like I had a crazy blood sugar drop and had to lay down. I felt weak all over.

There is still a noticeable circulation issue as I feel it in my feet as well with tingling, the hands are still not back to "normal" either and require constant warming up although the swelling has gone down.

I'm going to read up on the items you posted and hopefully find a doctor (naturo or med) who can help. My luck thus far with medical docs has been RX after RX which I would like to avoid if I can find the root (deficiency or whatever else is the root).

Thank you again, this was my first post and you both were so helpful :)

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Thank you so much for your replies! The wallpaper is circa 1980. I did get a few gouges under my nails from the paper and of course there were tiny open wounds so if there was gluten, it had a fast track to my bloodstream.

I forgot to mention that shortly after I finished the work, I felt like I had a crazy blood sugar drop and had to lay down. I felt weak all over.

Hon, gluten molecules do not go into an open cut and into the bloodstream. It does not work that way. So do not worry about that.

It is possible that you are simply still ill from long term gluten intolerance and you have some vitamin deficiencies and hypoglycemia.

You are still new to the gluten-free diet and it takes a while for symptom resolution.

If you do not feel better soon, you should see a doctor.

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Hon, gluten molecules do not go into an open cut and into the bloodstream. It does not work that way. So do not worry about that.

(Blush) oops, I didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out :)

Still lots of learning to do over here!

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(Blush) oops, I didn't know that, thanks for pointing that out :)

Still lots of learning to do over here!

That's okay! I had to learn all this, too! We all had to learn.

Hopefully, you will find good information on here. It helps to read the FAQs at the head of each section. And there are many articles and sections to look through.

Welcome to the forum!! :)

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With a reaction like that, I think I would look to reactions to chemicals and/or substances that might be in the wall paper, the old paint on the wall, the wall paper paste, first. In my completely layman-based opinion, it seems like it might be a potential allergic reaction, based on your description. Some of us who go gluten free have 'picked up' a few previously unknown allergies after we go gluten-free. Don't know why, but there's a lot of us here who have had it happen to us.

Also, thinking of symptoms, allergies affect the blood pressure (which might account for that feeling like your blood pressure dropped). They also can cause swelling, pain, tingling, and so on.

I've read about an allergic reaction before that involved a woman feeling very cold in the affected parts. I have never seen that listed as an official allergic reaction, however. It was just something this woman had noticed herself, and it was different enough that it stuck in my head.

I do know that current wallpaper paste now has a fungicide added that can trigger an allergic reaction through skin contact. I don't know if any paste from the 80's contains the same fungicide, but I imagine you could find out.

It might be worth checking this one out with an allergist. There could be other substances in there aside from a fungicide, but the couple I can think of offhand you would likely have nearly daily contact with, so you'd probably already have noticed another reaction.

Hope you're feeling better!

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If BOTH hands and feet are feeling numb, you may be suffering from B-1 deficiency. You might try taking a co-enzyme Vitamin B complex vitamin.

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It may be quite a few or any of the above mentioned.

Have you tried an oral antihistimine? I ask because I am allergic to quite a few plants and if I play with them, and in particular, if one penetrates my skin I get an all-over body reaction that feels like a cold or flu, along with pain and numbness in my hands (what has been playing with the plants). An antihistimine helps.

So, I doubt an allergy caused the initial numbness at night, but it may be why you are in so much pain now.

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Anyway, I've had issues with my hands falling asleep at night which wakes me regularly (this started before the diet).

Well crud, I totally missed this part! No idea how I did that. Sorry!

This is something I've experienced, too, actually. Before my celiac diagnosis, during the night my hands would fall asleep to the point that they were tingling and almost numb and difficult to move. If I slept heavily, by the morning, they would be numb, slightly swollen, and difficult to move properly. Sometimes I couldn't move my arms at all for a while. It didn't last more than about 10 minutes after waking, although the swelling could take a little longer to subside. My hands and feet would also get very cold, very frequently, in moderate temperatures.

Going gluten free eliminated the problem, we thought. I DO get various neurological issues from gluten, so we thought it was related. But we figured out that ingested corn seems to be the cause for the overnight numbness and tingling in the limbs. Longer term low-level corn cc causes the tingling/pain to spread to my neck, down my arms and spine, my joints. Injected corn derivatives seem to be worse than ingested, with longer lasting effects.

I wish I could tell you exactly WHY it happens, in case it relates, but the docs don't have a clue. Doesn't seem to be an allergy, and it's not exactly an intolerance. At this point, the docs just tell me, essentially, 'we don't know what it is, but avoid corn because it's messing you up.' Getting corn usually just feels like, well, like everything in my body that can become inflamed HAS become inflamed. Including places that can cause nerve problems and circulation problems due to the inflammation.

So, don't know if this is a food thing for you as well, but for what it's worth, it seems to be the cause in my case.

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There are lots of references which talk of wallpaper paste containing gluten. Here is one: http://foodintoleranceinfo.com/gluten-intolerance/gluten-faqs

It is probably responsible for some of your symptoms since you are sensitive to gluten, I'm assuming that since you are posting here. I hope you feel better soon. Hopefully someone else can finish up that job while you get out of there.

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Adhesives can also contain natural rubber aka latex. I have a latex allergy and my fingers can go numb if I touch/handle things with latex like the grips on pens. Do you get "band-aid marks"? if you use standard band-aids? I did but not if I use latex-free band-aids. If you have a substance allergy then an opening in the skin would make the "allergen" get into the blood stream easier.

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Having loaded up on spinach, hummus, B6/B12 and some honey that day trying to boost magnesium and B vitamins, I slept through the night the last 2 nights and did not wake up with my hands asleep. I am thankful for that! My right hand and legs still feel a bit off which I will have checked out.

I read something about people having blood sugar issues when going off gluten as the body stabilizes so I'll likely never know if it was the wallpaper or a sugar drop. Either way, I figured I'd update as I personally love knowing what happened after the fact with reactions.

About the band-aids...I do not have that reaction however my daughter (6) does and we actually went off corn and corn derivatives after making the connection to that and her intestinal issues a few years ago but it didn't alleviate her distended belly and bm trouble (this was before learning about gluten of course, now we're sailing but should omit corn again soon).

Thank you all again so much for your responses and links, I really appreciate all of the information and hope to return the help down the road as I learn as well.

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